OLD people’s homes and libraries face closure as North Yorkshire County Council tries to save more than £20 million.

The latest cost-cutting proposals drawn up by officials say elderly residents may be moved to facilities run alongside businesses and voluntary groups.

Up to 130 jobs are set to be lost within the authority’s adult and community services directorate, while 24 libraries could either be shut or placed into the hands of local communities.

The department has to save £20.5 million by 2015 and the need to make almost half of these within the next 16 months has forced planned cuts to be accelerated.

Senior officers said protecting vulnerable residents could be a damage-limitation exercise.

If elderly people’s homes are closed in a bid to save £570,000, those living there would be transferred to “extra-care facilities”, whose costs are shared between the public, private and voluntary sectors and developers, with the authority continuing to pay for their care.

Coun Chris Metcalfe, the authority’s executive member for adult and community services, said: “Drastic action is required to address the national deficit and the council is determined to play its part.

“But we are equally determined to do all we can to protect those members of society who are most vulnerable.”

A report which goes before the council’s care and independence overview and scrutiny committee next week said residential placements for elderly people, intensive personal care packages and carers’ support networks also face reductions.

“When it comes to adult social care, the first priority has to be the protection of the most vulnerable,” said Derek Law, corporate director adult and community services.

“Is it possible to protect the same number of vulnerable adults and children in North Yorkshire communities for less money? The honest answer is probably not, but we can minimise the damaging impact if we think and behave differently.”

• CLOSING North Yorkshire libraries or transferring their operation to local communities could save about £2 million over four years.

The region’s 18 main libraries, including those in Selby, Malton, Pickering, Sherburn, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Scarborough, Filey, Whitby and Thirsk, and its “super-mobile” truck-based library would all survive under the proposals, but 24 smaller centres could be hit by the cuts.

North Yorkshire County Council said the annual cost per person of providing mobile libraries was £77.50, compared with £16.50 for branch libraries, with a second “super-mobile” service possibly being provided in some areas. The public have until the end of February to air their views.